Failure to Report Felony with texas flag

Failure to Report Felony

The Failure to Report Felony crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you witnessed a serious crime that placed someone at risk of serious injury or death and you did not report it. Learn more detailed information about the Failure to Report Felony offense below.

Have you been charged with Failure to Report Felony? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Failure to Report Felony is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration”, Chapter 38 “Obstructing Governmental Operation.”

What is the current Texas law about Failure to Report Felony?

The current Texas law is as follows:1

(a) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) observes the commission of a felony under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that an offense had been committed in which serious bodily injury or death may have resulted; and

(2) fails to immediately report the commission of the offense to a peace officer or law enforcement agency under circumstances in which:

(A) a reasonable person would believe that the commission of the offense had not been reported; and

(B) the person could immediately report the commission of the offense without placing himself or herself in danger of suffering serious bodily injury or death.

An important requirement of this law is that the unreported felony was serious enough that someone could possibly be seriously injured or killed. In addition, you must have personally observed what happened. Hearing about something is not enough to warrant your obligation to report the offense.

How can I be charged with Failure to Report Felony?

You can be charged with Failure to Report Felony if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 38.171(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Failure to Report Felony?

A conviction for Failure to Report Felony is punished as a Class A misdemeanor,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

Legal References:

1 Texas Penal Code §38.171 Subsection (a) specifies two different ways in which the offense might be charged.

2 Texas Penal Code §38.171(b)

Recent Case Results

  • 2019 Not Guilty in Collin County DWI >0.15
  • 2019 Not Guilty in Dallas County Indecency with a Child
  • Oral Argument at the United States Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Prosecutorial Misconduct Claim arising out of Northern District of Texas
  • 2018 Not Guilty in Martin County Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Peace Officer
  • Not Guilty in 2018 Dallas County DWI Trial
  • Client cleared in Dallas Police Shooting wrongful accusation
  • Federal sentencing results in 10 Year Downward Deviation from Sentencing Guidelines in 2018
  • Not Guilty Jury Verdict for client originally accused of Intoxication Manslaughter
  • Case Dismissed after picking jury in Aggravated Sexual Assault of Child case in 2017
  • United States Attorney dismisses case against client charged in El Paso Federal Court with Possession of Child Pornography
  • ALL CHARGES DISMISSED against our client in the Twin Peaks Waco Biker case
  • Client “No-billed” by grand jury investigating shooting death case
  • Coverage of Case Involving Waco teacher sending messages to student
  • Judge returns a Directed Verdict of Acquittal in case involving trainer of professional athletes
  • Rare Not Guilty verdict in Rockwall County DWI
  • 2016 Dismissal of Fort Worth Federal Possession of Obscene Visual Representation of the Sexual Abuse of Children
  • Hill County Money Laundering case Dismissed and civil asset forfeiture assets returned
  • Coverage of teen Lewisville client charged with hit-and-run death
  • Two Montague County Indecency with a Child cases Dismissed